LSE Open 2011: Part 1
Setting off for yet another one of my debate trips, I would venture all the way out to London this time and for an over-night trip too. The purpose – compete in the 2011 LSE Open Debate Tournament. I was to be joined in this venture with fellow Team Wales debaters Cat, Josephine and my LSE Open Debate partner David.
I had a rather uneventful journey out to Cardiff, most of which I spent trying to complete Top Gear – Bolivian Special which was entertaining and helped the time pass quickly. Things picked up once I got off the bus with time tight and a massive bag to lunge. Thankfully, I managed to arrive at the Megabus stop just moments before the bus was going to leave. It was a bit of a toughie since I had the tickets so my poor fellow debaters had to wait for me. Nevertheless, the bus managed to leave on time at 3:45 and David settled down with his copy of The Economist whilst I completed Top Gear.
As usual, whenever I left the college, I had a mini-collection of movies/videos to keep myself entertained during the long trips. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that I watch more movies in these two years at UWC Atlantic College than I have ever watched in the last 16 years of my life. This time, I was watching National Treasure which seemed familiar but maybe only because many of the actors were easily recognizable. At around 5:30, the bus randomly stopped at a service station and our bus driver got rather agitated. He made a few odd comments like ‘this is what you get when you miss your bus’ or something like that. I wasn’t quite sure. It seemed like someone had missed the bus, but given that even I managed to get on… this seemed rather unlikely. Admittedly, I was too busy trying to watch National Treasure to really notice. It later turned out that someone on the earlier bus missed their original bus when it stopped at the service station. So when we arrived at the service station ourselves, we had to stop and pick them up. Despite all this, we managed to get into London eventually.
After a short tube journey, we hauled our many bags up to LSE and managed to get ourselves to the right place… but couldn’t quite find the entrance to Parish Hall. Eventually, we managed to call Scott McDonald, the convener who let us in. I then realized, contrary to my imaginative thoughts, that we weren’t ‘STAYING’ at Parish Hall, but merely meeting there to find out where we would crash. As it turned out, Azeem Jumaji, the crash coordinator (does this even exists?) put us together with Giles Templemen and Danny Gross which turned out quite well. We dropped our bags off at their place and returned just before all the pizza disappeared from the table. Without really realizing it, we had all gotten quite hungry, evidently the energy bar I had on the bus to Cardiff didn’t last . We met a lot of people saturday night, including quite a few German teams who were rightfully classified as ‘international teams’. We also found Scott with sprained ankle but it turned out alright eventually.